Remembering 9/11 and Honoring Those Who Serve

May we never forget. 
As a nation, it is time to reflect and remember the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost 20 years ago on a Tuesday in September that is now simply known as 9/11. It was on that day that a group of terrorists acted to induce fear and panic in the citizens of the United States, but instead served to rally the American people to the cause of fighting terrorism wherever it may exist.
As a people we struggled to comprehend the horrifying images we saw on our televisions that day, but we also found an inner resolve to push aside the shock and the horror to come together as Americans. As President George W. Bush said in his address to the nation, “This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.”
Twenty years later, the people of this great nation continue to hold in their hearts the memory of the tragic attack that took the lives of far too many. And even as we see the tragic missteps that have led to the loss of more life as our troops withdraw from Afghanistan, we are again reminded of the immense heroism that inhabits the spirits of our soldiers and all those who have fought so hard in the war on terror. Our nation is the greatest on Earth because of the willingness of these patriots to answer the call to duty.
During the remembrance of 9/11, people in all parts of the country will take time to remember and honor the men, women, and children whose lives were lost due to this cowardly act. The anniversary of 9/11 is also an important time to pay tribute to the heroes serving in the armed forces, and in law enforcement, who work to protect the peace each and every day. It’s a day for Americans to reaffirm their commitment to continuing, and fighting for, the dream of this nation’s founding fathers to have a land of freedom and opportunity. Despite the efforts of those terrorists, the dream lives on even stronger now today.
September 11 is also a time to pay special tribute to the many first responders who risked their lives on that fateful day, and to acknowledge all the emergency responders who continue to protect and serve the American people today. The terrorist attacks 20 years ago represent the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in United States history. The day resulted in the deaths of 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers. These men and women deserve to be honored and remembered by the American people for the ultimate sacrifice they made in an effort to save the lives of those in harm’s way.
In Missouri the efforts of emergency responders are recognized with Emergency Personnel Appreciation Day, which takes place each year on 9/11. The day is meant to acknowledge, with special gratitude and profound respect, all public safety personnel, including police, firefighters, ambulance personnel, emergency dispatchers, and corrections officers. Missourians everywhere are encouraged to devote some portion of the day to recognition and solemn contemplation of the sacrifices undertaken by emergency personnel in performance of their duties.
May we never forget.
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